Story Tags

Uncle Tom's Journey cover

Staff Picks: Forgotten Maryland History

Check out these local history books about the forgotten people and events in 19th century Maryland that shaped American history.  Copies are available to check out from the library system. Uncle Tom's Journey from Maryland to Canada by Edna M. Troiano

unmentionable

Those Wacky Victorians

Any historian will tell you not to judge the people of the past too harshly.  It takes some effort not to judge the culture of the Victorian era though. (At least how it was in Europe and the U.S.) Yes, the Victorian era saw incredible leaps forward in city life, science and culture, but a culture can't progress without making some pretty strange wrong turns. It's all so adorable, and WEIRD, that it's difficult not to laugh at them a bit.

In the Heart of the Sea

Survivor

Stories of humans vs. the forces of nature

Ice Cream: A Global History cover

The Heat Wave is Gone, but Next Comes August

Cool reads for hot summer days

Summer in adulthood can be hard. Most jobs don't include a three month summer vacation, it's blazing hot, and being in public sprinkler parks when you're not a child generally leads to some serious side-eye. Get through the worst of it with a tall glass of ice water and these chilly reads.

Black Tudors cover

From London into the Past, Part 2

Since I took my first trip to Great Britain three years ago, I've gone back twice to see more of the country as well as London. Below are additional titles that I've enjoyed to complement my original list in 2016. Copies are available throughout the library system.

Barefoot in Babylon by Bob Spitz

Peace, Love, and Rock 'n' Roll

Celebrating Woodstock 50 years later

August 15, 2019 marks 50 years since the first Woodstock in Bethel, N.Y. Revisit inimitable acts such as The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Grateful Dead to celebrate the enormous cultural impact the “three days of peace and music” had on America and the world. From nonfiction tell-alls from those who had a hand in organizing the festival to young adult novels written from today’s perspective, there’s something groovy for everyone here.

Get Well Soon

Sick

Viruses and plagues and germs, oh my!

"What's natural is the microbe. All the rest--health, integrity, purity (if you like)--is a product of the human will, of a vigilance that must never falter." -Albert Camus, The Plague

Washington's Circle

Proximity to Power

A look at (mostly) presidents and their advisers

What is it like standing behind the head that wears the crown? The following titles look at heads of state and the people who influenced them. Four of them deal with U.S. Presidents and those who counseled them, their cabinet members in particular, and are listed in chronological order. The last title deals with a difficult English monarch and the courtiers who served him.

Revenge of the Analog

The Retro-Tech Revival

Visions of a Less Digital, More Fulfilling Future

A prevalent mythology of the future, pushed by the digital tech industry, assumes it will be increasingly digital. This trajectory is often thought to be inevitable and that therefore individuals and institutions have no choice but to embrace it. I find the books below stimulating because they reject this inevitability and imagine a future less dominated by digital media than it is now.

Crushing

The Human Spirit

I am drawn to people's personal stories of triumph over adversity. I think often about the imagery and symbolism of the lotus plant. The lotus shoot has to grow through the mud of swamps and other still bodies of water. The unseen shoot struggles upward towards the light and when it pierces the surface, a beautiful flower unfurls. What these stories have in common is they explore the resiliency of human peoples despite the misfortunes that can happen in any person's life.

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